IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 629: Saving Memories?: Salvation and Remembrance

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Rob Lutton, Department of History, University of Nottingham
Paper 629-aThe Memory of the Cross and the Passion of Christ: The Connection between Salvation and Terrestrial Power since the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Monika Veronika Eisenhauer, Independent Scholar, Koblenz
Index terms: Political Thought, Social History, Theology
Paper 629-bAlways Remember and Never Forget: The Cluniac Keys to Salvation
(Language: English)
Amanda Swinford, Department of History, Portland State University, Oregon
Index terms: Lay Piety, Monasticism, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 629-cMemory in the Balance: Between Despair and Hope of Salvation
(Language: English)
Celia Mill, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies (MEMS), University of Kent
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Lay Piety, Theology

Paper -a:
Memory effectuates not only the re-construction of the past but at the same time the construction of the presence. In this context the collective memorising of the Passion of Christ is a key incidence. Its symbol is the cross. In the first centuries it resorted to the idea of militia Christi, but since the high Middle Ages the cross has become the symbol of salvation by Christ’s death – the apocalyptic expectation of Christ mutated into the commemoration of Christ’s death and resurrection. This culture of commemoration leads to the permanent re-construction and consolidation of power by associating salvation and power.

Paper -b:
As ensuring salvation was the ultimate aim of the medieval Christian church, practices to further this goal evolved in, and were disseminated from, monastic communities. I will examine three 12th-century Cluniac legends – the Relatio Metrica (possibly by Bernard of Cluny) and two excerpts from Iotsald’s Vita of Abbot Odilo, the hermit on the rock and the petition of Pope Benedict – to define the ritual and philanthropic actions considered most essential and/or efficacious to achieve salvation according to Cluniac practice, and the rewards which could be achieved by proper observance. Considering Cluny’s undeniable influence over ‘the economy of salvation’, understanding these core beliefs will provide insight into this dominant aspect of medieval Christianity.

Paper -c:
In 13th-century English Pastoralia for monastic and lay congregations, confession is a cyclical process of recalling and forgetting past sins. The same is true of works: constantly remembering good deeds leads to pride and presumption. In Julian of Norwich and Marguerite Porete’s 14th-century texts for the spiritually ambitious laity however, the concept of confession as necessary for salvation is called into question. This paper will discuss how both women have issues with the pastoral use of penitential memory and examine how they redefine and reposition the roles of the institutional Church, and memory itself, in relation to salvation.